“MFB Outlines Survival Strategies for SMEs in Ivory Coast”

Ivory Coast, 25th May 2018 – Federation Ivoirienne des Petites et Moyennes Entreprises (FIPME) hosted an event from the 24th till 26th May 2018 dedicated to finding solutions for the problems faced by its SMEs in Ivory Coast.

Ivory Coast’s Minister of Commerce pointed out in his speech that the bankability of SMEs is one of the most difficult problems to overcome in the Ivorian economy. The Director General of the Bankers’ association went on to add that the low survivability rate of SMEs was attributed to this particular factor. It was highlighted that although the government has taken steps to facilitate growth of SMEs (such as reducing the payment period from 90 to 60 days), SMEs in the Ivorian economy are still struggling to survive. The Ivory Coast, earlier titled “The Pearl of Africa” now ranks 34th on the “Ease of Doing Business” list out of 46 countries.

According to Dr. Joseph Boguifo, the President of FIPME:

“The survival of SMEs largely depends on an easier access to financing and to both public and private markets. With the pace at which the world is moving today, the Ivorian economy must leverage on technology to achieve this objective.”

During the event, MyFinB outlined 5 major strategies that SMEs need to incorporate in their ‘way of doing business’ in order to increase their chances of survival. First of all, internalization which relates to the optimization of internal processes and structure. Secondly, SMEs need to continuously innovate to stay competitive in today’s ever-changing marketplace. SMEs need to be able to integrate themselves into the right markets and thus, seek investments from different sources. Finally, SMEs must internationalize their businesses and not only depend on the domestic market.